Campaign against online porn

Campaigns from various groups in the UK against online porn and children's access to such. Background for calls to mandate implementation of adult content filters by ISPs.


  • Claire Perry MP calls for network-level adult content filters in Parliament mentioning TalkTalk's plans, November 2010[1]
  • Proposals to implement network-level filters floated by Ed Vaizey MP, December 2010.[2]
  • Meeting between ISPs, Ed Vaizey, Claire Perry on 6 Feb 2011 regarding online porn.[3]
  • TalkTalk launches HomeSafe network-level adult content filters, May 2011
  • Mediawatch-UK and Safer Media campaign for government to mandate network-level filtering, May 2011[4][5]
  • Parliamentary Inquiry into online porn blocking (Claire Perry report) announced [6], August 2011
  • SafetyNet "Protecting Innocence Online" campaign launched, February 2012 [7]
  • Daily Mail "BLOCK ONLINE PORN" campaign, April 2012 (ongoing)
  • Department for Education launches a consultation into mandatory adult content controls, June 2012
  • Government response to Education consultation recommends parental responsibility and does not endorse default filtering, December 2012[8] [9]
  • David Cameron causes confusion over the intention of the government by adding new specifications in the pages of the Mail. Appoints Claire Perry MP as advisor on child sexualisation, who will be responsible for implementing new filtering arrangements, 19 December 2012.[10]

Safetynet campaign

The Claire Perry report was sponsored by Christian charity Safermedia and radio broadcaster Premier Christian Media who together also, in February 2012, launched Safety Net - a campaign specifically[11] calling for the deployment of network-level filtering (as offered by TalkTalk since May 2011). The campaign later claimed its first achievement[12] in the form of TalkTalk's existing offering.

Daily Mail campaign

Following the Claire Perry report, the Daily Mail began a campaign (Block Online Porn) against broadband ISPs and wifi providers[13] for not blocking online porn at the network level, and ministers for not pushing forward legislation requiring them to do so.

Preposterously, ministers argue that requiring web users to opt in to pornography would breach their ‘civil liberties’. What a monstrous perversion of the meaning of those words. Since when has liberty had anything to do with having our children bombarded with filth, without our permission or knowledge?[14]

Mail columnist Melanie Phillips accused the main UK ISPs (other than TalkTalk) of being "nothing less than online pornographers" who "are in effect making themselves complicit in child sexual abuse".[15]

It should be noted that, since they're campaigning for something already on offer, the aim is to use legislation (or the threat of legislation) to force filtering onto other people's home networks, since presumably any parent that actively wanted network-filtering could use TalkTalk.

The campaign was supported by two Labour Party MPs, Jenny Chapman MP and Helen Goodman MP who described a lack of filtering as "a modern-day form of pollution", and linked network-level blocking to a case where a 17 year-old was "groomed" on Facebook[16] implying that access to Facebook should be blocked by ISPs unless access to adult content is requested by someone over 18 and that those convicted of sex crimes should also be subject to network-level blocking.

The MPs also comprehensively address device-level controls:

Currently, most of the ISPs require customers who want to put filters on to their computers to download the software themselves. But most of us are not geeks – and when one of us tried, all that happened was that the computer was disabled for 24 hours!

As well as the Perry report, the articles also heavily reference the LSE's EU Kids Online survey.[17]

The campaign later manifested itself as criticism of perceived links between the Conservatives and Google[18][19][20][21] (recipient of advertising revenue from online porn[22]), blaming this for the government not legislating for network-level filters. [23]

In December the government published a response to filtering proposals that did not go as far as the Mail had wished, causing the paper to accuse it of betrayal and cowardice. Days later the Prime Minister wrote an article for the Mail, apparently endorsing the campaign's demands, giving the Mail cause to claim victory for their campaign.[24][25]


February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012



  1. Internet Pornography, 2010-11-23 "Interestingly, although the official view [of ISPA] is that any official restrictions would be hugely expensive, technically difficult and open to circumvention, one provider, TalkTalk, proposes to provide a ratings system in the new year"
  2. Internet porn block 'not possible' say ISPs, BBC News, 2010-12-20
  3. Anti-pornography campaigners claim 'favourable consensus' on internet filters, Telegraph, 2011-02-09
  4. Safer Media Block Porn campaign, 2011-05-18
  5. Claire Perry MP supports "Block Porn" Protest, Claire Perry, 2011-05-15
  6. MPs launch Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection, ClairePerry, 2011-08-24
  7. [1]
  8. Whon will protect our children in the internet age?, TalkTalk/YouTube, 2011-10-10
  9. YouGov poll, April 2012, "Some people think that customers should have to choose to have their internet service filtered (an opt-in service), other people think that internet services should all be filtered unless customers ask for their service to be unfiltered (an opt-out service)"
  10. Victory for the Mail! Children WILL be protected from online porn after Cameron orders automatic block on sites, 2012-12-20
  11. 'SafetyNet - Protecting Innocence Online', "Calling for Internet Service Provider (ISP) network level filters"
  12. Safety Net Campaign Achievement - Talk Talk offers family friendly broadband!, undated, retrieved 2012-05-27
  13. Phone firms block porn so why can't web giants? Internet providers already have technology to install opt-in filters, Daily Mail, 2012-04-22
  14. MAIL COMMENT: Don’t surrender to the filth merchants, Daily Mail, 2012-04-22
  15. So, Minister, since when were the civil liberties of porn users more important than those of children?, Daily Mail, 2012-05-22
  16. Why we must force internet giants to stop exploiting our children, Daily Mail, 2012-04-26
  17. Children and online pornography – does the evidence justify calls for more regulation?, LSE, 2012-05-07
  18. Google says parents are to blame if children view porn: Online giant attacks call for legal curbs, Daily Mail, 2012-04-23
  19. Newspaper Attacks UK Government For Its ‘Closeness’ To Google, TechCrunch, 2012-05-19
  20. Revealed: Tories have held cosy meetings with Google every month since election, Daily Mail, 2012-05-18
  21. Tory minister to speak at Google's conference: Willetts to address search engine chairman at annual event, Daily Mail, 2012-05-21
  22. Blocking internet porn would fail to protect children and only give parents false sense of security, says Google, Daily Mail, 2012-05-24
  23. Daily Mail defends anti-porn crusade at Google's Big Tent, Wired UK, 2012-05-24